Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Why should I groom my short haired dog?

Dog Grooming is often associated with long haired dogs that require regular trimming.  But did you know that your short haired dog will also benefit from regular grooming?  Dogs such as Labradors, Boxers, Jack Russell Terriers, and any other breed with a short coat.

Once again we kept a picture diary of a Beagle that was groomed with us and you will be able to see exactly the work that goes into grooming a short haired dog.

Before the groom: The coat looks dull and is shedding

We start by using specially designed brushes to remove excess hair

You can see how much dead hair is removed.  This will keep your house cleaner and the dog will feel a lot better as well.  

The nails are trimmed

The ears are cleaned

A warm shampoo and condition in our hydro-therapy bath
...What's a Hydro-Therapy bath you ask:
With this bathing system we are able to add the shampoo and conditioner straight into the water that flows through the shower.  This gives an extra deep clean to the dogs coat rather than working in the shampoo and conditioner manually.  

This is another specially designed brush that can be used to remove excess dead hair.  We like to use it during the bathing process as it works the shampoo and conditioner deep into the coat.
The dogs coat is dried by hand using a high velocity dryer (no cage drying).  This is another step in removing dead hair.  The shedding hairs simply lift out of the coat and blow away.

You can see how glossy and and clean the coat is after the groom

A clean and shiny dog is what you're left with.

Friday, 24 January 2014

So what does your groomer do?

Have you ever wondered what exactly is involved in a 'Full Groom' (the Muttz For Cutz Treatment!).  Well wonder no more.  We kept a little picture diary of one of our customers grooms.  This is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that the owner requested to have clipped short all over.  This will take anything from 1-2.5 hours and it all depends on the dogs behaviour and what kind of haircut you want your dog to receive.

And this is how your groomer looks after your pooch...

Here we have the dog before the groom.

The coat is given a 'rough clip'.  This is to remove all excess hair before the bath.  This cuts down on drying time and also removes any knots and tangles

The remaining coat is given a thorough brushing

We clip the dogs nails

The hair around the pads of the feet is trimmed.  Sometimes little knots can form between the pads of the feet which can gather dirt and make walking uncomfortable

We clean the ears with our special ear solution

The dog is given a bath in our Hydro-Therapy bath
...What's a Hydro-Therapy bath you ask:
With this bathing system we are able to add the shampoo and conditioner straight into the water that flows through the shower.  This gives an extra deep clean to the dogs coat rather than working in the shampoo and conditioner manually.  

The dog is dried by hand on the grooming table.  No cage drying is used by us!

The dog's coat is clipped again.  This will pick up all the stray hairs that were not clipped during the 'rough clip'.  It gives a lovely and smooth finish to the coat.

Last but not least the finishing touches are applied.  The feet, legs, tail, belly, ears, and face are trimmed according to our clients wishes.  This can take quite a lot of time and skill as you want your dog to look tidy but very natural.


And there you have it, a lovely clean  and tidy doggie ready to go back home!

Obviously every groom is an individual experience.  This is just an example of one of our lovely clients.

I hope you enjoyed getting an insight into what a 'Full Groom' is all about!

Carolyn Zenker
Muttz For Cutz

Friday, 17 January 2014

To Shave Or Not To Shave

The Lovely Coat of a Rough Collie
One of the most common conversations I have with some dog owners is whether to have their double coated dogs coat clipped short.  A double coated breed would be Golden Retrievers, Rough Collies, Border Collies, Siberian Huskies.  These dogs have a layer of undercoat that is close to the skin.  This coat is usually fluffy, and can be quite rough and dull looking (you ever notice clumps of hair coming out of your dogs coat?? That's the undercoat being shed).  Then there are longer hairs that cover the dog.  These are guard hairs.  They are usually quite tough, smooth and can give your dog their lovely rich colour.

This double coat is specially designed to help dogs stay warm in the winter and also to stay cool in the summer.  Unless we are faced with California summers in Ireland (I wish!), your dog will be perfectly happy in his long coat all year round (obviously your dog always needs access to shelter in the winter and shade in the summer, and constant access to fresh water).

Brushing out the dead undercoat of a Tibetan Spaniel
What your groomer will do with this type of coat is simple (but it takes a lot of work).  Most of the dead undercoat can be brushed out (this is the tough part). This will leave your dog feeling a lot lighter, and it will almost look like we clipped some of the hair shorter.  It only looks like that because with all the heavy undercoat gone, the longer top coat lies flat and looks smoother.  Once all this hair is removed we will tidy up some of the long bits that are sticking out (along the legs, bum, ears, and belly).  This gives your dog a much neater silhouette. (Obviously your dog isn't just brushed, a shampoo and condition, a thorough fluff dry, and nail clipping + ear cleaning                                                                                                              are also included in a groom)

In our profession we would never refuse to clip one of these dogs.  What the owner wants, the owner gets, but we do advise against it for the following reasons:

A clipped coat that has grown back very dull and rough
  1. The coat may never grow back the same as before.  The rough and dull looking undercoat grows faster than the lovely looking guard hairs.  This can leave you with a dull and patchy looking dog.  The lovely rich and silky coat may not grow back to it's full glory
  2. Once your dog looks rough and patchy you are going to want to get him groomed more often because he will look a lot smarter when all the hairs are at the same length...this will mean more grooming bills.
  3. The dogs coat has evolved into this double coat for a reason (as described above).  By clipping your dogs coat you are interfering with this ability to regulate their own temperature
In certain cases of extremely matted dogs we are left with no choice but to clip the coat short.  We don't like doing it but in the long run it is better for the dog to have a matted coat removed completely.  In these cases it would be unfair to subject the dog to hours of brushing and de-matting.

I hope that this will be helpful coming into the warmer months and that you might re-think clipping your dog this summer!

Thanks for reading,

Carolyn Zenker
Muttz For Cutz

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Winter Grooming

We get a lot of questions about getting dogs groomed during the winter months.  I always tell people that it all depends on the dogs living arrangements.

My advice would be against clipping dogs short that live outside, especially if they live outside at night!  If your dog lives primarily indoors and is just left outside for the occasional potty break or a walk, then there should be no reason why the dog cannot get his/her coat clipped short.  There are lots of lovely coats and jackets on the market that will keep your dog warm during the trips outdoors.

Long winter coat option
As a groomer you come across a lot of pet owners who believe they are doing their dogs a favour by not grooming them from October-May, and when the dog is then brought to us they require a complete shave off.  This is especially true for high maintenance breeds like Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers etc.  Once the dog is then shaved the usual problems of skin irritations due to clipping can arise, and other skin problems due to matting may be discovered.  This will usually warrant a trip to the Vet and another bill to pay.  It is in the best interest of your dogs' well-being to continue with regular grooming appointments during the Winter!

Depending the the condition of your dogs coat, another option would be to simply keep the dogs coat long during the cold months.  Once the summer arrives (or better yet, if it arrives...stupid Irish Summers!), then the coat can be taken down in length again.

Hope that this will answer some of the questions that come up when deciding on your doggies winter groom!

Carolyn Zenker
Muttz For Cutz

New to Blogging

Hi all,

This is the first official Muttz For Cutz post.  Having never done anything like this before we hope that you will enjoy following our blog.

We are a mobile dog grooming company set up in Naas Co. Kildare, Ireland.  We serve all surrounding counties and hope to expand nation wide in the coming years.

We'd like to keep our customers and fellow groomers updated on everything that's new in the Muttz world, along with some great grooming tips and advice.

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Here's to our first ever blog...may we have many more to come :-)

Carolyn Zenker
Muttz For Cutz Manager